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The dangers of underage drinking in Oklahoma

Every state in the nation, including Oklahoma, enforces the legal drinking age of 21. Any person under the age of 21 who decides to consume alcohol is thereby breaking the law. Worsening the issue, these underage drinkers sometimes take to the road, breaking even more laws as they put themselves at risk of having an accident.

Oklahoma law states that noncommercial adult drivers can measure no greater than 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration to remain within the confines of the law. For commercial drivers, this percentage drops even lower to 0.04 percent blood alcohol concentration. By comparison, those under 21 who choose to get behind the wheel of a car while drinking are subject to a DUI arrest with any trace of alcohol in their blood.

In addition to the risk of an arrest for drinking and driving, young people can be harmed by alcohol in other ways. For example, even at 21, the brain is still developing. Consuming alcohol at a young age can damage the brain and perhaps hinder proper development. Young people are also more susceptible to alcohol poisoning than older people.

One of the greatest dangers of underage drinking is the risk of serious car accidents, which can occur due to impaired judgment and concentration. While no one wants underage drinkers to put themselves at such a risk, it is still important that young drivers be treated fairly during a traffic stop or an investigation. Under 21 Oklahoma residents who believe they were erroneously charged with DUI should seek legal assistance to increase the chance of beating these charges.

Source: SAMHSA.gov, "What Is Underage Drinking?," accessed Sep. 29, 2015

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